Scott Weiland was unable to say much in a late-July phone interview about his firing earlier this year from Stone Temple Pilots because of a lawsuit filed by his former bandmates that seeks to prevent him from using the group’s name or its songs.
“I’m still blown away that this thing has come to this,” was about all the singer could say. “There are a lot of things that I’m blown away by about it. It’s sad. But I really can’t talk about any of the stuff around it.”
That was about the only time during the interview that Weiland was at a loss for words, as he addressed a wide range of topics, including his current tour, life in Stone Temple Pilots over the years and his marriages.
Weiland is on the second leg of his “Purple at the Core” tour with his solo band, The Wildabouts, playing a show that predominantly features material from the first two Stone Temple Pilots albums, “Core” (1992) and “Purple” (1994). They play Thursday at the Asylum in Portland.
Stone Temple Pilots, meanwhile, have recruited Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington to take Weiland’s slot on a fall tour, and will release an EP this fall.
Not much has been said officially about what led to Weiland’s firing, although the band’s lawsuit asserts that he was chronically late to the group’s 2012 concerts, delivered inconsistent live performances and interacted with his bandmates (Dean DeLeo, Robert DeLeo and Eric Kretz) only through his attorneys or management.
Weiland couldn’t address any of those specifics.
What he did discuss was whether he and the other members of the band spent much time together other than on stage. It’s been widely reported that Weiland recorded his parts for the band’s 2010 self-titled album (the group’s first release since reuniting after a 2002 breakup) in his own studio, while the other members recorded separately in another facility.
“No, we weren’t hanging out much,” Weiland said, noting that life in the band changed after the “Purple” album. “That’s kind of when it stopped. We were all chummy and all that up until then.”
“Purple” gave Stone Temple Pilots its second straight multi-platinum album, but it wasn’t long before things went south. By this time, Weiland had been using heroin, and soon his drug use and personal problems became headline news. The band had to cancel most of its 1996-97 tour, then went on hiatus.
Weiland made a solo album, “12 Bar Blues,” during this period, and in 1999, Stone Temple Pilots regrouped and made its fourth album, “No. 4,” followed in 2001 by “Shangri-La Dee Da.” But things in the band deteriorated, and after Weiland and guitarist Dean DeLeo got into an altercation during the final show of the “Shangri-La Dee Da” tour in 2002, the band broke up.
Weiland landed on his feet, joining former Guns ‘N Roses members Slash, Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum in Velvet Revolver. The group released a pair of successful albums, 2004′s “Contraband” and 2007′s “Libertad,” before Weiland split with the group, made a second solo album and reunited with Stone Temple Pilots.
Having now been dismissed by Stone Temple Pilots, Weiland and The Wildabouts are touring and working on a new album. Unlike Weiland’s first two solo albums, which he described as being like art projects, the new CD is a full-on band effort with The Wildabouts.
“This record is going to be different,” he said. “It’s a rock band writing songs together, jamming songs together, recording songs like as a band and writing songs together, collaborating, listening to each other’s ideas. There’s a dub feel to it, like Lee “Scratch” Perry kind of, in the way that The Clash kind of used it.”
Weiland’s personal life is also looking up. In addition to his much-chronicled drug problems (he was arrested four times between 1995 and 2007 on drug-related offenses and most recently went through rehab in 2008), he has gone through two marriages and divorces.
But in June, Weiland married again, this time to photographer Jamie Wachtel. He met her on a photo shoot while filming a video for his version of “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” from his 2011 holiday album, “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”
Weiland said the two had a quick connection, and early on, he knew something special was happening.
“Now we’re married and it’s awesome,” he said. “She doesn’t take any (expletive) from me and she’s very smart, she’s funny. She’s also an artist, plays piano and she sings.”
“So it’s really great,” Weiland said. “We’ve been talking about the possibility of having another addition to the family.”
Alan Sculley is a freelance writer.